Category Archives: Uncategorized

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SLAP Tears In The Shoulder: Diagnosis and Treatment

You shoulder is considered a ball and socket joint and is comprised of three bones. The humerus is the upper arm bone. The scapula is the shoulder blade. And, the clavicle is the collarbone. A ring of cartilage known as the labrum surrounds the shoulder joint’s socket. The labrum’s functions include deepening the socket, stabilizing the joint, and serving as an attachment point for other ligaments of the shoulder. Injuries to this ring of cartilage are known as SLAP tears.

What Is A SLAP Injury

SLAP stands for the Superior Labrum Anterior and Posterior. When the top part of the labrum (where the bicep attaches to the labrum) is injured, it is referred to as a SLAP injury. In these tears, both the front (posterior) and back (anterior) of the labrum can be affected and torn. In some cases, the bicep tendon will also suffer a tear as a result of the injury.

What Causes A SLAP Injury

SLAP tears are caused by a number of factors. Both repetitive stressors and acute trauma can cause these injuries. Common causes of acute trauma to the labrum are motor vehicle accidents, sports related injuries that involve falling directly onto an outstretched arm, a forceful pulling on the arm (often found in athletes straining to catch a ball), rapid or sudden movement of the arm when it outstretched above the head, and shoulder dislocation.

What Are The Symptoms of a SLAP Injury

SLAP injury symptoms include the following.

A feeling of locking, catching, popping, or grinding in the shoulder joint.

Pain experienced when moving the shoulder or when trying to hold the arm upright in one position for a period of time.

Pain experienced while lifting heavy objects.

A sudden and noticeable decrease in the strength of the shoulder.

In baseball, pitchers might notice deterioration in the velocity of their pitches and experience “dead arm” sensations.

If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms, request an appointment with an NJ Sports Medicine specialist today!

Contacting A Sports Injury Specialist

If you’re experiencing chronic, acute, or prolonged pain that matches any of the above symptoms, prompt diagnosis and treatment are crucial. Call the NJ Sports Medicine team to schedule a consultation and learn about our minimally invasive treatment options today. Our team can be reached at 732-720-2555.


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The Three Most Common Basketball Injuries

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Basketball season is in full swing. March Madness is nearly upon us. Players all over the country are practicing daily and putting everything they have into each of their games. Inevitably, as the season heats up, the number of injured athletes seen by NJ Sports Medicine specialists increases. Overuse injuries, ankle sprains, and knee injuries are by far the most common seen in basketball players. As always, the risk of suffering any of these injuries can be mitigated by consistent warm-ups and proper technique. Below we review these common injuries. If you believe you’re suffering from any of these injuries, call an NJ Sports Medicine specialist today to request an appointment. Immediate and thorough treatment can drastically reduce your bench time.

 

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  1. Overuse Injuries: As the name suggests, these injuries are a direct result of repetitive and consistent stress on the muscles, bones, ligaments, and joints in the knee. Overuse comes from the constant running, jumping, and dribbling associated with the game of basketball. “Jumper’s Knee” is the most common of these injuries and is characterized by pain in the tendon just below the kneecap.
  2. Ankle Sprains: Between the running and jumping – and occasional traumatic run-ins with other players – ankle sprains rank in the top three most common injuries seen in basketball players. During an ankle sprain, the ankle rolls too far and the ligaments that connect the bones are stretched (and sometimes torn) during the impact.
  3. Knee Injuries: Cartilage tears in knees are the single most common injury in all athletes, basketball players included. These injuries can be the most serious of the three and can include tears in cartilage, tendons and knee sprains. In the most severe cases, the ACL can be torn and will most often require minimally invasive surgery from a trained sports medicine surgeon.

 

Consulting A Sports Medicine Specialist Today

The key to minimizing bench time and long-term effects of knee injuries is immediate and comprehensive treatment of injuries. If you’re experiencing acute or chronic pain in your knees, call an NJ Sports Medicine specialist today to schedule a consultation and get back in the game as soon as possible.


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Understanding ACL Transplant Surgery

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Your ACL, or anterior cruciate ligament, serves a vital role in overall knee stability. The ACL is responsible for keeping the shin bone in place. Any tears or damage in the ACL leaves the knee open to giving in on itself during physical activity. ACL reconstruction surgery is a means of reconstructing this vital ligament.

 

How Does ACL Reconstruction Work?19798795_l

 

During ACL reconstruction surgery, tissue (either from your own body or from a donor) is used to replace the damaged ligament. Tissue taken from your own body and used to replace the ligament is called an autograft. Tissue taken from a donor to replace the ligament is called an allograft. Regardless of where this tissue is taken from, the procedure is most commonly done under general anesthesia on an outpatient basis. Generally speaking, knee arthroscopic technology is used during the surgical procedure. With this technology, a small camera is inserted into the knee and allows the orthopedic surgeon to see the damaged ligament up close and perform the most complete replacement possible. Furthermore, the surgeon will use the camera to do a quick check of the surrounding tendons and ligaments to make sure there is no further damage to the knee area.

 

ACL Reconstruction takes place in four steps. These are:

  1. A shaver is used to remove the torn ligament.
  2. In autografts, the surgeon will make a larger cut and will remove the tissue from another part of your body to use in the knee ligament reconstruction.
  3. Tunnels are then created in the bone that allow for the ligament to be pulled through.
  4. The new ligament is attached to the bone with screws. As the knee heals, the bone tunnels will fill up, and this will be what holds the new ligament in place.

 

Who Is An Ideal Candidate For ACL Reconstruction Surgery?

 

ACL reconstruction surgery is used for anyone with a torn ACL that won’t recover otherwise. Patients experiencing the following symptoms are best suited for ACL reconstruction surgery.

  • Knees that give way or feel unstable during movement
  • Generalized knee pain
  • Injuries to the surrounding ligaments
  • An inability to continue physical activity because of the pain in the knee

 

Scheduling A Consultation

 

If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms, call NJ Sports Medicine to request an appointment with an orthopedic specialist and get started on knee recovery.

 

 


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What You Need to Know About Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) Injections

Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) injections are a means of capitalizing on the body’s own restorative processes to speed healing and reduce pain in the treatment of several conditions, including:

  • Sports injuries
  • Chronic tendon conditions, such as Tennis Elbow or Plantar Fasciitis
  • Osteoarthritis

 

Although the efficacy of PRP injections is still under investigation, some studies indicate the treatment to be safe and effective. The treatment has also gained some traction due to media attention2856303_l surrounding the use of PRP injections to treat high-profile athletes and their professed satisfaction with the treatment in getting them back on the playing field. Read on to determine whether PRP injections could be helpful in your treatment.

 

How Do PRP Injections Work?

Platelets, which are found within blood cells, are key players in the body’s natural healing process. Along with liquid plasma, they attract cells and promote the growth of new cells that restore affected areas of the body. By placing a sample of the patient’s own blood into a centrifuge, the plasma and platelets can be extracted from the blood and concentrated, forming the PRP injection. The PRP is then injected to the affected site of the body, stimulating cell growth and healing in those areas. Some preparations of PRP can even be stitched into damaged tissues directly.

 

What Are The Risks Associated with PRP Injections?

Because PRP injections are made from the patient’s own blood, there is little potential for adverse side effects. However, it is important to follow the recommendations of your medical provider who considers your precise condition, medical history, and other factors.

 

Could PRP Injections Help Me?

If you have experienced a sports injury or have been living with a chronic tendon or ligament related condition like Tennis Elbow or Plantar Fasciitis, request an appointment with New Jersey Sports Medicine. Our specialists will help you determine whether PRP injections could be a useful part of your treatment plan.


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Football Fan’s Guide To A Healthier Game Watching Season

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From fall to spring, sports enthusiasts revel in the thrill of watching their favorite football teams compete several nights each week. It’s more than a pastime; it’s a way of life for many Americans. Unfortunately, that lifestyle often includes unhealthy habits such as extensive sedentary time on the couch, eating more junk food, and excess alcohol consumption. New Jersey Sports Medicine offers these tips to keep football season from derailing your health goals.

 

  1. Rethink the Menu. The typical football night cuisine cues up images of deep dish pizza, nachos piled high with beef and cheese, chips with high-fat dips, and lots and lots of beer (we’ll get 35329370_lto that later). The good news is that there are lots of creative and satisfying ways to modify your football snack favorites into healthier, lower-calorie versions. Check out this delicious nacho pizza from Everyday Health, along with a dozen other recipes that clean up your football season cuisine.
  2. Run a Victory Lap. The adrenaline jolts you experience when your team scores is the perfect fuel to squeeze in a quick burst of exercise–and so is the anger you experience when the other team scores or the ref makes an unfair call. Take out your energy in health-promoting ways. When your team scores, do twenty jumping jacks. When the opponent scores, hit the floor for ten pushups.
  3. Hold the Booze…Mostly. Completely avoiding alcohol during football season is probably not a desirable goal, although any reduction in alcohol intake will benefit your health. Instead of abstaining, choose one football night per week to indulge. Maybe it’s Thursday night out with friends at the bar, or maybe it’s Sunday afternoon with your buddies. Whichever day you choose, placing this limitation will substantially cut calories and detrimental health effects from alcohol during football season.

 

Football season is a fun and memorable time to come together with friends and family. You don’t need to take away from your time together by constantly worrying about making healthy choices. Make healthy plans ahead of time so that when the game comes on, you are ready to enjoy it.

 

To learn more about how to improve your eating and physical activity habits, request an appointment with New Jersey Sports Medicine today!


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Ice-Skating Injuries

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Ice-skating is a cherished part of many winter sports and traditions. Romantic dates, fierce hockey games, figure skating just to name a few. There are lots of reasons to check out the rink. Cold, hard, slippery ice obviously presents some serious risks. Remember to keep the following in mind this winter:

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Most Common Injuries

Being aware of some of the more common kinds of ice-based injuries can help you be more cautious and understand when an injury merits immediate medical attention. There are two broad categories of injury to be mindful of: traumatic and overuse injuries.

 

Traumatic injuries are injuries caused by a single accident. Some of the more common ones include:

  • Sprains and fractures
  • Dislocated shoulder
  • ACL tears
  • Concussion or other head injury
  • Labral tears, particularly in the hip
  • Cuts and lacerations (skates are sharp!)

 

Overuse injuries are more common for athletes who spend a lot of time on the ice. Repetitive motions and strain place a lot of stress on the anatomy involved. Some of the overuse injuries commonly seen in skaters include:

  • Stress fractures, especially in the feet and spinal vertebrae
  • Shin splints
  • Tendonitis
  • Muscle strains, especially in the hip
  • Bursitis

 

This is by no means an exhaustive list, but a good place to start when understanding the general risks involved with ice-skating.

 

Avoiding Injury

Lots of the same tips we recently recommended to skiers and snowboarders apply here. If your ice skate competitively, whether as a figure skater, speed skater, or hockey player, make sure you are in shape before hitting the ice and cross train to mix things up and reduce the kind of repetitive motion and strain that leads to overuse injuries. Stay hydrated so you are alert and aware of your surroundings. Even though it’s cold and you feel like you are not sweating, you’re still using lots of water. Finally, make sure your gear is up to snuff and wear safety gear appropriate to your activity.

 

Have an ice-skating injury, or want to find a workout that will allow you to be a better skater? We’re happy to help. Request an appointment today!


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Trend Alert: Fitness Vacations

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If you love being active, chances are a vacation spent binging on holiday sweets–or dozing on an in-law’s couch–aren’t really going to make you feel so great. Try this trend, instead: fitness vacations.

Fitness vacations are getaways centered around, well, fitness. Many involve training for a central challenge, like a marathon, and an exotic destination. Fitness vacations are becoming an increasing popular travel offering for athletes and other active types who love to have a good time while getting a good workout. Here are a few to consider if you have some vacation time coming!

 

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Go Luxe, Not Lazy

The Ranch at Live Oak/Malibu

The “luxury bootcamp” offered at The Ranch is proof positive that luxe living doesn’t necessarily mean leisurely lounging. Advertised as “a short stay, long on benefits” this minimum week-long immersion course includes “no-option, daily group fitness routine led by our skilled and professional staff” consisting of “four to five hours of group hiking, core and ab work, weights, daily group yoga sessions.” Don’t worry–guests are also treated to presumably well-deserved private massages and daily naps.

 

Women Only

Costa Rica Surf Camp and Yoga Retreat

There are a lot of women-only fitness retreats out there–check out this great roundup in Shape for a few–but we suspect surf camp will sound particularly attractive to the athletically-inclined among us looking to escape the East Coast winter. Surfing offers a great core workout, and can be a fun way to work on balance/cross train for your other hobbies.

 

 

The Old Hand of Fitness Vacays

Cycling House Cycling and Triathlon Training Camps

Cycling House, in Tuscon, Arizona, has been fine-tuning it’s training camp for competitive bikers and triathletes for over a decade. Options now include training programs appropriate for athletes at a variety of skill levels, and to suit diverse training goals.

 

 

Hardcore, Cross-Fit

Destino Retreats

“If you think work is hard, you should try vacation,” reads Destino’s slogan. Destino’s excursions–to Hawaii, Mexico, Mammoth, and Arizona, aren’t for the faint of heart. Competitive challenges, paleo meals, skills training, and more make these ideal for the seasoned crossfitter. But don’t worry–there’s also a Margarita night!

 

 

 

 

Don’t forget to get an evaluation and approval from a medical professional before selecting one of these vacations! Your fitness vacation should be challenging, not damaging. A professional can advise you on which activities will be most beneficial for your physiology and fitness goals, and help reduce your risk of injury. Request an appointment with our sports medicine professionals to get professional advice on getting more from your fitness vacation.


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Winter Sports Safety

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There may not be snow yet, but if you love to hit the slopes, chances are you’re already getting revved up for this skiing or snowboarding season. What you do now can help keep you safer once your out on the slopes.

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The Facts

Researchers from Johns Hopkins estimates there are approximately 600,000 skiing and snowboarding accidents annually. A four-year study comparing the two sports found there are more injuries sustained by snowboarders. Skiers tend to damage their knees, while wrist and ankle injuries are more common among snowboarders. Interestingly, experience seems to matter less with skiers– only 18% of injured skier were a beginner, versus 49% of snowboarders.

 

Preventing Injuries

There are plenty of ways to minimize your risk of injury pre-season. Here’s where to start:

  • Stay (Or Get) Fit: If snow sports are your main active hobby, you’ll need some extra work to get into prime shape. Appropriate strengthening exercises will help you maintain balance and control. You should consult a physician before embarking on a new exercise program, especially if you’ve suffered previous injuries, to make sure your plan is a good fit given your physiology.
  • Assess Your Gear: Start going through your gear now to make sure you have what you need–and don’t buy something cheap or uncomfortable in a rush. Bonus? Checking now means you can add items you need to your holiday wish list!
  • Bindings: Bindings are very important for skiers and snowboarders. It’s important to be very vigilant about the fit of your bindings, especially if you get new boots. See a professional to make sure your bindings are adjusted correctly, especially if you’re a new skier or again, have new boots.
    • Ski bindings that fail to release are a major cause of knee injuries among skiers. It’s vital to make sure your bindings are appropriately adjusted. Do a self test to make sure your bindings will release–here’s how.
    • Snowboarders also need to be aware of their bindings, though for different reasons. Snowboard binding isn’t designed to release your feet in a crash (as your legs are bound close together, it’s less likely your legs will be injured). But properly fitted bindings are important to insuring you’ll have good control of your board.

 

A sports medicine professional can help make sure you are ready for a safer season in many ways. They can test you to identify issues with gait or posture that might impact your performance, and find exercise programs that capitalize on your strengths. They can also make sure you are not exacerbating old injuries or other conditions. Our team regularly works with winter sports enthusiasts to help them improve their performance. You can request an appointment, or contact us via the website chat for more info.

 

 

 


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Anterior Ankle Impingement (Footballer’s Ankle)

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With football season in now started, there seems to be no better time to talk about anterior ankle impingement–AKA, footballer’s ankle. Footballer’s ankle has been the bane of many athletes, including dancers, runners, and soccer players. Athletes whose sport involves regular kicking motions are particularly vulnerable.

What is it?

This is a condition that may develop over time from repeated strain to the front of the ankle joint caused by flexing the foot–a motion that leads to those pesky calcific deposits. Or it may develop as a result of bone damage caused by the stress of that same motion (and also facilitating bone spur formation). Chronically weak ankles, especially in non-athletes, may also cause footballer’s ankle.

In any case, scar tissue, inflammation, and/or bone spurs develop in the front of the ankle joint, which limits the joint’s range of motion and often causes pain. A physical exam, x-rays, or in rare cases an MRI may be used to diagnose the condition.

Treatment

Conservative treatments for footballer’s ankle include physical therapy designed to break down scar tissue in the joint, rest, anti-inflammatory medications, and corticosteroid injections. In more severe cases when conservative treatments are no longer effective, surgery is used to remove the scar tissue and/or bone spurs blocking the joint. Fortunately, this surgery does not have an extensive recovery time, and patients are often able to return to their normal activities fairly quickly.

Prognosis

Happily, the vast majority of patients with footballer’s ankle recover successfully and without any damage to their athletic ability–even patients who undergo surgery. The condition may reoccur, although your physical therapist will likely be able to recommend stretches, exercises, and/or medical devices to help lower your risk.

Suspect you may be developing a case of footballer’s ankle? Request an appointment with our sports medicine experts.


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Get Over Gym Shyness With These 5 Tips

Gyms are scary. Even as they continue to evolve into brighter, cheerier, more welcoming spaces, for many, they remain as anxiety-inducing as the body-builder garages of old. Maybe it’s because you feel self-conscious about your body or abilities; maybe you’re worried you mess up some piece of unspoken gym etiquette.  Whatever the reason, it’s holding you back from what can be a super-fun place, somewhere for reinvention, endorphin rushes, and discovery. Help yourself get over your gym shyness with these tips.

Choose Wisely

A gym membership shouldn’t be an impulse by. Don’t use selectivity as an excuse to procrastinate, but definitely take time to read gym reviews, stop by, and ask around on social media. Some gyms are geared more toward people who are overweight or obese, some are for women or men only, some are for more serious athletes–you get the picture. Find a place that gives you good vibes.

Get The Inside Scoop On Etiquette

When you come in, take a moment to ask the front desk attendant about etiquette. They aren’t going to judge you for your lack of gym experience, and if they do, than they really aren’t a person whose opinion should care about at all. Ask about things like wiping down the machines, controlling any shared TVs, etc.

Find A Low Traffic Time

Ask the attendant about what times the gym tends to be most empty. This piece suggests between 1-3 in the afternoon or after 7PM, though this may vary based on your gym’s hours and location.  Ideally, you want to work up to feeling comfortable going to the gym even when it’s crowded, but starting out with less people around can help you build confidence and associate more positive memories with your gym time.

Everyone Sweats

Everyone sweats. Everyone breathes funny. Everyone makes weird faces when they’re in the zone. If they don’t, then they aren’t actually working out. Our tip? Bring some tunes, or check out any of the many workout music stations on Pandora and slip in some wireless, noise blocking headphones. Alternately, bring a tablet with a show you want to watch. These will help you zone out whatever you’re feeling self-conscious about and feel more confident–a great way to keep you moving longer!

Who Doesn’t Love An Underdog?

You probably aren’t as out of shape as you imagine. Even if you are, don’t forget: everyone loves an underdog. Even the most intense, most intimidating guy or gal in the building started somewhere. Most people are too busy paying attention to their own workouts to notice just how slow you are jogging, but even if they do, they aren’t going to think it’s embarrassing. If fitness is really their passion, then it most likely makes them happy to see someone else discovering the joys of the gym.

Need a little extra help with your training, or want to feel more confident that your workout is effective for your body and goals? Request an appointment with our sports medicine specialists today!


Athletic injuries, discomfort, or that nagging sense you aren’t achieving your full potential? Game on. Here at New Jersey Sports Medicine, our experts are here to heal the injured and help players at every level unlock their best selves. If you’re ready to hit a home run for your health, contact us today and request an appointment.